Chapter 78:

Put a Stop to This


“Five more of ‘em, dead ahead!”

After bursting from the third car minutes ago, one of the faster squads had been catching up with the culprits with surprising ease. Wilton swung out his shotgun from over his shoulder, blasting a cavalcade of high-velocity rubber into the cosplayers’ backs. All keeling over in pain, the only two that kept running were swiftly apprehended by Oda’s sweep with a tall iron pole that knocked them face-first onto the ground. 

Just as soon as Julie could cuff them, however, they were surprised to see almost every single member of the team arrive from the other side of the alley.

“Whaddya doin’ here? We gotta job ta do!” Wilton flipped the lever on his gun and shoved in another less-than-lethal shell. His friends looked tired, and frightened.

“We have them cornered, but not for long.” Q rallied. “We need everyone’s help.”

“Where are they?” Oda asked.

“They’re in… they’re in…” Lee-Bryan struggled. Ko mercifully finished the announcement for him.

“They all took over someone’s collectibles shop and are using it as both cover and a hostage. We can’t shoot in there, and we can’t enter any way other than the door.”

“You’re still on that plan?” Denny complained. “Screw the shop, they killed Missile Man! Let’s blow the place sky high!”

“But… the collectibles…”

“Shut it, Lee! Look… yeah, it’s a lot of someone’s money down the drain, but what’s a bit more debt matter? We’re already in the red here, folks! Venge City Kentucky’s dead. Our other parks are gonna take decades to recuperate the losses anyway. And that’s if- if the company itself survives without its head park. Not to mention… without Bozo.”

“But… but…” Julie mumbled. “Mr. Bozo, he… he didn’t do anything wrong…”

“No. No he didn’t. But selling out his parks is unavoidable now. He’ll give them all up- give us up- to some other owner. Toss us aside like action figures. So do you see now? Do you see that no matter what you do, or how many one-of-a-kind figurines of freaking Ratguy you destroy- we’re screwed anyway! Our lives… are over. Revenge… that’s… that’s all we’ve got left.”

A hush of darkness fell over the team. The only members who weren’t silent in that quiet instant were the few beginning to cry.

In his tears, Tatsuki dug something from his wallet.

A crumpled trading card of his favorite hero, Coaster Bozo.

He held it to the sun.


Steward McOy